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New OSHA Reform!!! What All Employer’s Must Know

Friday, May 1, 2009

By: Jeff Ord of Forklift Safety Training Services, Inc.

For the first time in nearly 14 years, the Democratic regime has a new President with majorities in the house and senate. What does this mean? They are calling out for an overhaul of OSHA legislation for the first time in over forty years that would raise fines and increase criminal penalties on companies by prosecuting corporate officers and supervisors.

David Uhlmann, former top environmental advisor in the Justice Department, now working as an environmental law professor at the University of Michigan, has recently proposed the following OSHA reform:

  • Upgrade criminal safety violations by employers from misdemeanors to felonies.
  • Increase criminal penalties for injuries and endangerment instead of just death.
  • Enhance penalties, up substantially from the present $70,000 maximum for willful violations.
  • Change present “vague” definition of an employer to allow prosecution of responsible corporate officers and supervisors.
  • Provide more law enforcement resources to prosecute criminal cases.

Jeff Ord, President of forkliftsafety.com, the nation’s leading source for OSHA compliant safety training materials for forklift operator’s for nearly twenty years, states, “we are seeing a huge increase in training kit sales as a direct result of the anticipated new regulations, fines and penalties from OSHA. After all, this new administration is setting the record for unprecedented spending in the trillions of dollars and it will be our responsibility to painfully pay it back over a long period of time by raising our taxes and by putting this huge burden on the employer. We are seeing training kit sales approaching the level we saw in 1998 when OSHA defined the elements of forklift operator safety training, making it mandatory for employers to comply.

Just like all the other big changes from this new administration, it’s not a matter of when, it’s how much. This OSHA reform calls for higher fines and more criminal charges against the employer and it may be here sooner than we expect.

For more information contact Jeff Ord of Forklift Safety Training Services, Inc. at phone: 800/494-3225, office: 702/294-3970 office, fax: 702/294-3973 or visit www.forkliftsafety.com

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